School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care

Information for participants in the volunteer patient program

UWA commenced a new MD (Doctor of Medicine) course in 2014, and as part of this new course we are continuing our practice of having patients from the community come in and spend time with our trainee doctors.

  1. Who we are looking for
  2. What your participation involves
  3. Types of sessions
  4. Payment
  5. Parking
  6. Medical questionnaire
  7. Your availability
  8. Privacy, confidentiality and duty of care

Who we are looking for

During the course of the year our students will cover different topics, such as Respiratory, Neurological, Musculoskeletal and Cardiovascular System, as part of their learning program.

We are looking for a broad range of people over the age of 18, including those that are:

  • in general good health
  • people with chronic illness, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, lung disease
  • people who have undergone a significant medical procedure, such as a heart bypass, or had a significant medical problem in the past, for example a heart attack or stroke

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What your participation involves

Our students will be required to talk to the simulated patients to find out about their medical history and experience of their illness and the medical system.

They will also be conducting basic physical examinations such as taking blood pressure, listening to heart sounds, testing reflexes. There are no needles, x-rays, intimate examinations or invasive procedures involved. These examinations are conducted purely for teaching purposes and are not designed to replace any medical treatment that you may currently be receiving. Our teaching rooms are equipped with privacy screens and there is a tutor present in each of the rooms at all times.

Female patients 

Depending on the body system being examined, female patients are suggested to either wear or bring with them a skirt, pair of shorts or loose-fitting trousers and a camisole top.

Male patients 

Male patients are also requested to wear or bring with them a pair of loose-fitting shorts and a front button open shirt should it need to be removed to enable students to conduct a physical examination.

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Types of sessions

As a simulated patient you may be contacted to participate in either or both of the following types of sessions.

Clinical skills and practice sessions

Simulated patients will work with a small group of students of approximately 10 per group, and their clinical tutor in a classroom setting. The two-hour session provides students with an opportunity to practice their physical examination techniques, history-taking and communication skills in a supervised environment. Teaching topics may require patients with specific medical conditions. Clinical Skills Practice Sessions are primarily held in our clinical teaching rooms in the Curnow Building (345) ground floor rooms and Sleep Science rooms G30A and G30B on the main campus. Entry to the campus is off Hackett Drive (Entrance No. 2).

Clinical skills assessments (exam days)

Our medical students are individually assessed on their communication and clinical skills and their knowledge of a particular system, such as the cardiovascular system. Simulated patients may be required to play the role of a patient and the medical student has to ask questions about that role. Information on your role for the exam will be supplied.

You may also be physically examined under supervision, and the individual student is assessed on their examination technique. Students rotate continuously over a period of time, usually several hours. 
Clinical skills assessments will require rooms running simultaneously across several locations including Main Campus: Curnow Building, Sleep Science and at QE2 Medical Centre - N Block

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For in-class practice sessions you will be paid $25.00 per two-hour session via Coles Group and Myer gift cards. This payment is to assist with your parking and travel costs. Please note we require new patients to attend the in-class sessions before being considered for the assessment sessions.

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Parking at UWA can be difficult, especially once teaching commences. Pay and display parking is available on UWA main campus car parks 3, 4 and 9, or City of Subiaco pay and display along the Matilda Bay Foreshore on Hackett Drive through to Australia II Drive. The Subiaco Shuttle (bus 97) also runs every 15 minutes from 7:00am to 6:30pm from Subiaco train station and stops along Hackett Drive.

Reserved parking or taxi vouchers may be arranged where there are special circumstances. Assessment day sessions must start on time, therefore where possible reserved parking (outside Curnow Building 345 car park 2) will be made available.

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Medical questionnaire

If you would like to participate in the volunteer patient program, please spend a few minutes completing the questionnaire below and return it to us at your earliest convenience. Details of your current medical condition(s), if applicable, assist us in determining suitability for specific session, for example, medical conditions relating to a particular topic. Should we have your details already, this is an opportunity to update our records.

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Your availability

By nominating your availability on the questionnaire form, you agree we can contact you when a particular session is scheduled. Email is the preferred method of communication; however let us know if you would prefer contact via home or mobile phone. Completion of the questionnaire includes signing to acknowledge informed consent that you are willing to be contacted to arrange a mutually suitable time to attend a session. However, you are free to decline the offer to participate at any time.

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Privacy, confidentiality and duty of care

All personal health information remains private, complying with the Privacy Act, and is only accessible by authorised UWA staff members for the purpose of teaching activities. As a duty of confidentiality all information is protected against inappropriate disclosure and will not be released to medical students at any time. Should you choose to discontinue and have your information withdrawn from our database you will be excused without prejudice and without justification.

If you are a member of the community that would like to contribute to the education of our future doctors, we would love to hear from you by email or on you can call (+61 8) 6488 7528.

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School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care

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Last updated:
Thursday, 1 October, 2015 1:07 PM